March of 1821 finds the Corinthian people without local leaders and unable, headless, to follow the great uprising. The local lord Sotiris Notaras and the metropolitan Kyrillos, together with the Turkish bey of the region, the prudent and wealthy Kiamil, have been to the meeting of the elders of Moria in Tripoli since the beginning of the month, after the rumor of a revolution of the Rayadians was leaked .
The family of Kiamil Bey has been locked up for safety in Akrokorinthos with enough guards and obstacles and with the nobleman Andrico Notara as a guarantor. The numbness of the people and the vacuum of power that was presented in Corinth, comes, at the beginning of April '21, to cover with his fiery drive and with his revolutionary passion Papaflessas. The Corinthians follow him and rise up. The Turks abandon their mansions and properties and find refuge in the castle, which is run by Kiamil's dynamic mother Nouri Begina.
First Siege (Unsuccessful)
Corinthian rebels closely besiege Acrocorinth, celebrating their freedom. This is the First Siege of the castle by the Greek forces, which was ultimately unsuccessful.
On April 22, 1821, the Turkish Seraskeri Kehayabeis came with 5,000 troops to Voha and from Lechaio sent a message to the besiegers of the Castle to prostrate themselves and disband. The next morning, April 23, George Heliotis by order of Papaflessas, before leaving Corinth, sets fire to the splendid palace of Kiamil-Bey and other Turkish mansions. Thus Kechaiabeis enters Corinth unmolested, burning Greek houses and churches in turn. On the same day, Nouri Begina orders, in retaliation, that Andrikos Notaras be overthrown from Acrokorinthos.
A month passed and at the beginning of May 1821 the second siege of Acrocorinth began. The leaders of the besiegers are Anagnostis Petmezas from Kalavry and Kostis Methenitis from Hydra. Three cannons, bought with a fundraiser of the Hydrian Friends, under the Hydrian captain Dimitris Kriezis, were moved to the opposite small castle (Mont Escouve Pentescoufis) and did a lot of damage to the inmates of the Castle. The siege became very close, so the Turks were forced to surrender, with an agreement arranged on the morning of January 14, 1822.
After the signing of the agreement, Kolokotronis took men from the various military corps and accompanied by the bishop of Damalos Ionas, Photakos, Petmezas and others, arrived at the meridian gate of Acrocorinth. There he was welcomed by the Turkish agades led by the guard Aslan Bey, who handed him the keys to the Castle emphasizing the phrase: "Your halal! Bye!
Kolokotronis crossed the upper part of the gate three times with the Greek flag and shouted: "Ebate, Hellenes!" According to the historian of Corinth, Lampi Apostolidis, this was one of the great, deeply moving moments in the history of our Nation.
And while the heroic bishop Ionas, on his horse, raised the cross and blessed the gunpowder-smoked lads and the rocks resounded with mixed cheers and rifle shots, the old man of Moria, perched on the highest point of the Castle, raised the Greek flag. It was the blue and white one with the cross, in the design that just a few days ago had been approved by the Assembly of Epidaurus and which for the first time waved in the free Greek sky. However, after Kolokotronis was deliberately removed from Corinth, this brilliant success of the Greek forces was subsequently marred by looting and looting of the considerable wealth found in the Castle (and which, according to the law of war, belonged to the Greek public, as long as the surrender had been made by treaty and not by raid).
The orgy of looting was followed by the collapse of the agreement, which provided for the protection of the Turks and their settlement in Turkish lands.
Of the 600 surrendered, none ultimately survived. During their transport to the ships that were in Loutraki, they were attacked by groups of miscreants, they were robbed, women and children were kidnapped and many men were massacred.
The remaining people were put aboard two ships which: "unfortunately, stormy conditions, they all drowned in the sea".
This is what the historian Franzis writes, but others question the natural phenomenon and attribute the drowning of the unarmed Turks to deceit and purpose.
In the same period (on January 26, 1922), the Epidaurus National Assembly designates Corinth as the capital and seat of the temporary administration of Greece. This is a prominent historical honor, which these lands earned and which they held until July 22, when the army of Dramalis was seen descending from Roumeli.
CONQUEST FROM DRAMALIS
Corinth is abandoned to the invaders, but the most outrageous thing is that even its walled castle is abandoned.
The unworthy guard Iakovos Theodoridis, despite the resounding nickname he bore as 'Achilles', as if he saw the dust raised by the turkish soldiers, became afraid, gathered the 150 men he had under his command and left from the Teneatic gate (of the Dragoness). But previously, in agreement with him, the former servant of Kiamil, Dimitris Benakis, the sub-guard Diamantis Lalakas and the abbot of the Faneromeni monastery, Parthenios Vlachos, executed Kiamil-Bey in cold blood in the room where he was kept prisoner.
The next day, July 7, 1822, Dramalis solemnly ascends Acrocorinthos as liberator. He is given a brilliant welcome by Camiel's widow and mother, dressed in the most luxurious veils among richly decorated therapeudins, and they reveal to him a hidden well of 40,000 pouches full of gold coins. To honor the widow of Kiamil-Bey, the beautiful Gul-Khanum o Dramalis, he married her on Acrocorinthos with oriental splendor. And in satisfaction of yesterday's mourning, instead of another monument in memory of her murdered husband, he ordered and built alive on the walls, the best Greeks he had dragged captives with him from Roumeli, while he hanged two venerable priests upside down.
Dramalis stayed in the Castle for only four days to celebrate his wedding, and on July 12 he left proudly for Tripolitsa, to break up, as he believed, the revolution there as well.
The outcome of this campaign with his 30,000 men, who on July 26, 27 and 28, 1822 suffered a bitter defeat in the Dervenakia straits, is well known.
Humiliated and despised, he returns and shuts himself up in Acrocorinthos, where he dies a few months later of withering, on December 8, 1822.
The 4,000 remaining Turks of his famous army are decimated in the battle of Akrata and thus the Corinthian plain breathes free again.
Third Siege (THE FINAL)
The Castle alone remains in slavery with 415 tambourine Turkalvans led by the Albanian Abdullah - Bey.
Thus, at the beginning of 1823, the siege of Acrocorinth by the Greek revolutionary forces begins for the third time.
The National Assembly of Astros appoints Corinthios Ioannis Sot as leader of the siege. Notary public. In June, a co-belligerent and the conqueror of Palamidi, Staikos Staikopoulos, arrives, while in October, to make things even more difficult, Gennaios Kolokotronis is also appointed by the Executive.
When any hope of escape or rescue from the outside for the prisoners had been ruled out, a Turkish official of Acrocorinth, Halil-Agas, met with Staikos and submitted Proposals for the surrender of the Castle. The main reason was for them to surrender to Theodoros Kolokotronis, because only he was considered "besali", able to keep his word and not to slaughter the captives.
Actually, the Greek side sends Theodoros Kolokotronis together with Nikitaras from the Executive and Nikos Loumanis and Sotirakis Notaras from the Parliament, to take care of the details of the handover. After persistent negotiations the guard Abdullah - Beys and Theodoros Kolokotronis reached an agreement.
The treaty of surrender was signed on October 19, 1823, but the Turkalvanians left the Castle on October 26, because in the meantime an inventory was made of the things that were inside and would belong to the Greeks.
At noon on the 2nd of October 1823, the day of Saint Demetrius, 300 Turkalvans and 60 women left Acrocorinthos in the hands of the Greeks.
They were accompanied by Kolokotronis and Ypsilantis as far as Paleo Kalamaki, where they all boarded them safe and sound on two Austrian ships, and on a third one with an Ionian flag... With the departure of the Turks, a great festival began on Acrocorinthos, a consecration took place and official doxology by the bishops of Corinth Kyrillos and Ionas of Damalos.
At the dismissal, the surrounding area resounded with the cannons of the Castle and cheers, as the gunpowder-smoked Greeks kissed each other with tears of joy.
In the meantime, the lamb grills gave and took. Loads of wine and retsini - for the revelry and for lighting the fire - arrived every little while from Sofikites and Perachorites, as Corinthians and Dervenochorites danced and sang with folk instruments, from morning until night. And all these hours, Acrocorinth sparkled with the theorizing flames of the retsini and the batteries of the weapons, which proclaimed the joyous message of victory and freedom. The most brilliant Castle of Morea, The "Astron of Greece", breathed easier, a proud bastion of freedom and national pride.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou